Go Faster, Get Rounder
May 21, 2014
I buy every official release -- Gladly
I for one appreciate all the great work that Charlie does. I have countless hours of superior quality shows due to him.
I also find it odd that you are whining about things coming out on official releases. I couldn't be happier when they do and I hope that they continue putting more and more out officially. I'll buy every single one they do; I encourage you and others to do the same.
The band has always been generous enough to allow unprecedented access to its music. The least that fans can do is buy the official releases.
I doubt you have any idea what it was like before "From the Vault" and "Dick's Picks" started. You would have to search high and low to get new shows. You were happy to get anything. I spent thousands of hours making tapes for people and accumulating about 150 hours of good quality tapes and 250 hours of O.K. quality tapes.
Now you are whining about there being official releases because you can't get it free???? Puh-lease.
Official releases are how the band members make a good chunk of their money. I have bought the official releases even when I already had great quality soundboards of the show. Seemed like the least I could do . . . .
November 29, 2012
The still-in-SF NYE
This would be the best source of this show (it's a bit cleaner and better separated than the others) but the pitch is 4% too fast (more than half a tone) for the first 3 songs, until the FM patch mysteriously comes in. After I obtained a copy of this source, I put the first 3 files through pitch-correction software and it sounded great (you can stream with pitch correction with a WinAmp plug-in). The first track can also be compared to the version on Disc 3 of So Many Roads. Video from this show is on YouTube.
With the 80s New Years Eve shows, it's known that the previous shows in the run were usually better; NYE itself focused more on the event than the concert (when your band plays NYE you party, right?). Granted '86 had its poignancy & '87 (Ticket to New Year's DVD) was a keeper (went to these, too). Getting in to the venue was rather aggressive but gawd they were fun. Graham knew how to throw a NYE party. Objectively this one ranks as yr average NYE show. Note that the Bill Graham Center, just a few blocks from the Warfield, only held 7000. (Hah! NYE was always oversold - see other stories on the other seeds for reasons why. What was the SFFD going to do - focus on a Dead show on freaking NYE in SF?). '84 is a year with no officially released shows (as of yet). These were the shows right after Steve tragically lost his wife & kid.
1st set. The set opener is the track this show is known for: a 16 minute Shakedown. Beyond its length and set position it's just an average Shakedown, though length might be your thing. The standout track is a whipper Jack Straw. In places it sounds like they couldn't hear their monitors well (cf.Hell in a Bucket). Dough Knees is shaky knees.
2nd set. The SBD (Walker/Miller) is much drier in places than the FM (Gorinsky) source but would boil down to personal preference. In the middle of a fickle, average show comes an all-'84 highlight - Fire on the Mountain. Go to the FM Source (Gorinsky) for it, though, because there is 1:12 missing from the middle of this (Walker/Miller) source. Drums>Space is 26 minutes. Billy & Mickey seem the most on of the boys and there's a cool Spanish Jam "inside" Space. If Throwing Stones were a Jer song, he might have veered out of it sooner. Going into Lovelight may have been a try at injecting energy but it forced Bobby to keep sing-spitting. Got them back on their feet, though. Lots of rough trannys and vox flubs throughout.
3rd Set Or quad-encore. After a rest, they play much better; Phil especially. By '84 they were probably not as used to the whole 2am thing like they were as kids? Maybe the prospect of getting off the stage was what inspired Jer to whip off the best Baby Blue of the immediate era. Honestly, to listen to, this show isn't in the top 500.
Around & Around
It's All Over Now Baby Blue
Overall Show Rating = C [2 1/4 stars - 1 1/4 star plus 1 star for the Encore Set]
1st set: C
2nd set: C-
SUGGESTION: On the archive people tend to rate all shows 5 stars 'cause they love the band. Man, the Dead played over 2,300 shows. This means 460 are their 1-star shows and ostensibly 460, at the most, are 5-star shows (in a bellcurve reality, a dozen per year in years like '78, twice as many in years like '77 and '72 and just a couple in leaner years, like the 90s). Shows were awesome. They were fun. They made you feel great and lifetime-qual happy by the time you and thousands of your new buddies skipped and floated out of the venue and into Shakedown Street. Highlight moments forced you to either reel your mind back or just snip the tether - and they didn't always occur inside the show. But that even happened at what are, objectively, 1-star shows in retrospect and therefore shouldn't influence ratings here, as it renders the rating system untenable. A 3-star show should be an awesome show that, if you were there, was one of the best you ever brain-tasted (particularly if it was a rare 3-star 90s show). 2 1/2 stars would be your average show - not a train wreck. I realize some people feel the sidereal scorecard should reflect source/file quality. I don't think that's the paramount topic/concern that it was 20, 10, even 5 years ago, but that's a whole nuther.
They can't all be perfect shows! How would we know which ones to give our listening time?
March 16, 2012
thanks for the instruction
Ok so Mr Charlie remasters a soundboard and he wants you to rate it. If enough people give it a five by his standards than Rhino records will remove it from the archive and put it up for sale!!! (Europe 72')! It would be better if he stuck to re-doing audience recordings. Unless ofcourse he works for Rhino.